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Breaking down Kentucky football’s team stats through Week 7

Photo by Mark Cornelison

Photo by Mark Cornelison

Following back-to-back victories over Mississippi State and Tennessee, Kentucky football’s momentum took a complete 180-degree turn for the worse, following it up with a 20-10 road loss at Missouri and a 14-3 home loss against Georgia. While the defense continues to show fight, the offense is nowhere to be seen, specifically in the passing game.

After a much-needed week off, how do the Wildcats stack up with the rest of the college football world from a numbers standpoint? KSR has gathered all of the best and worst statistics in the three major categories: offense, defense and special teams.

Let’s take a look:


The Positives (Offense)

Kentucky is getting solid play out of its running backs and offensive line, along with discipline as a unit. Outside of that, though, the UK offense isn’t turning many heads.

  • No. 8 in fewest penalties per game with 3.83
  • Tied for No. 31 in tackles for loss allowed with 4.67 per game (Last week: Tied for No. 21 with 4.80 per game)
  • No. 33 in the nation in 3rd down conversions with 37 on 81 total attempts, good for 45.7 percent (Last week: No. 32, 46.2 percent)
  • Tied for No. 47 in total penalties with 23, including No. 48 in total penalty yards at 220 (Last week: No. 31 with 17, No. 36 in total penalty yards at 166)
  • No. 48 in rushing yards per game with 176.2, good for No. 3 in the SEC (Last week: No. 34, 184.4 rushing yards per game)
  • Tied for No. 52 in time of possession, averaging 30 minutes per game (Last week: Tied for No. 61, 29 minutes per game)
  • Tied for No. 62 in the nation with 13 sacks allowed and 2.17 per game, tied for No. 10 in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 34 with nine sacks allowed, No. 5 in the SEC.
  • No. 70 in completion percentage at 59.8 percent, No. 11 in the SEC (Last week: No. 63 at 59.4 percent, No. 12 in the SEC)

The Negatives (Offense)

Where things are bad, they’re very bad for the Kentucky offense, specifically in the passing game. The Wildcats boast one of the worst passing attacks in not only the SEC, but all of college football.

  • No. 71 in the nation in total first downs with 98 overall, including 56 rushing first downs, 35 passing first downs, and seven first downs from penalties (Last week: No. 61 with 83 first downs)
  • Tied for No. 80 in red zone offense with a 81.3 percent conversion rate (Last week: Tied for No. 64 with a 80.0 percent conversion rate)
  • No. 101 in passing efficiency at 113.58 (Last week: No. 72, 118.89)
  • Tied for No. 104 in scoring offense at 20.8 points per game. Only three teams have scored fewer points in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 69 at 24.4 points per game)
  • Tied for No. 108 in the nation in fumbles lost with seven in six games (Last week: No. 96 with six lost in five games)
  • No. 110 in 4th down conversions with two on seven attempts (Last week: Tied for last with zero on four attempts)
  • No. 114 in the nation with 294.7 total yards per game, dead last in the SEC (Last week: No. 85, 307.8 yards per contest, No. 13 in the SEC)
  • No. 117 in the country in passing offense with 118.5 yards per game, good for dead last in the SEC by a significant margin. The next closest is Tennessee at 174.7 passing yards per game. Also No. 116 overall in yards per completion with 9.00 (Last week: No. 91 in the country with 123.4 yards per game and No. 84 overall in yards per completion with 9.79)

The Positives (Defense)

The UK defense continues to be a major bright spot overall, with the unit finishing in the top 20 of five different major categories, along with nine spots in the top 35. The Wildcats remain one of the top teams in all of college football in forcing turnovers and limiting scoring.

  • No. 2 in the nation with three defensive touchdowns (Last week: tied for No. 1 in the nation with three)
  • Tied for No. 2 in interceptions with 11, good for No. 2 in the SEC (Last week: No. 2 in the nation with nine, No. 2 in the SEC)
  • Tied for No. 8 in red zone defense, allowing a 63.6 percent conversion rate on 22 total attempts, with 12 scores being for touchdowns. (Last week: No. 11 in the nation, 65.0 percent allowed conversion rate)
  • No. 9 in passing yards allowed per completion at 9.78 (Last week: No. 8 overall, 9.43 passing yards allowed per completion)
  • No. 18 in scoring defense, giving up 19.00 points per game, good for No. 1 in the SEC (Last week: No. 20, 20.00 points allowed per game, good for No. 2 in the SEC)
  • No. 30 in total defense, allowing an average of 355.3 yards per contest, good for No. 3 in the SEC (Last week: No. 30 in the nation, allowing an average of 357.2 YPG. No. 4 in the SEC)
  • No. 30 in defensive passing efficiency at 121.40 (Last week: No. 31 at 121.95)
  • Tied for No. 32 in turnover margin at + 4, tied for No. 4 in the SEC (Last week: Tied for No. 30 at +3, tied for No. 3 in the SEC)
  • No. 33 in total passing yards allowed at 212.0 per game with 1272 total, including seven touchdowns (Last week: No. 44, 228.2 passing yards allowed per game)
  • No. 51 in  the nation in rushing defense, allowing 143.3 yards per game. That’s good for No. 7 in the SEC (Last week: No. 37 in the nation, allowing 129.0 yards per contest. No. 6 in the SEC)

The Negatives (Defense)

Kentucky’s pass rush continues to be an issue, sitting in the bottom half of the nation in sacks and tackles for loss. They also dropped in 3rd- and 4th-down defense, along with total first downs allowed.

  • Tied for No. 54 in 3rd down defense, allowing opponents to convert on 38.8 percent of attempts (Last week: Tied for No. 35, 36.6 percent allowed)
  • Tied for No. 58 in the nation on 4th down defense with a 56.3 percent conversion rate (Last week: Tied for No. 52, 57.1 percent conversion rate)
  • Tied for No. 78 in the nation with 124 first downs given up to the opposition, including 64 through the air, 50 on the ground, and ten on penalties (Last week: Tied for No. 62 with 104 first downs given up)
  • Tied for No. 88 with one fumble recovered (Last week: tied for No. 71 with one fumble recovered)
  • Tied for No. 98 with 1.33 sacks per contest (Last week: Tied for No. 75 with 1.60 sacks per game)
  • Tied for No. 104 in the nation in tackles for loss at 4.5 per game (Last week: Tied for No. 77, 5.2 TFL per game)

The Positives (Special Teams)

Max Duffy remains among the best of the best in college football, sitting in the top ten for net punting. UK kicker Matt Ruffolo is also trending up in field goal conversions.

  • Tied for No. 9 in net punting at 44.00 yards per punt (Last week: No. 11 in the nation, 44.25 net yards per punt)
  • Tied for No. 31 in field goal conversions with 83.3 percent, 5/6 overall (Last week: Tied for No. 34 in the nation with four makes, 80 percent conversion rate)
  • No. 42 in kickoff returns, averaging 21.25 yards per return (Last week: No. 36, 21.25 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 47 in punt return average at 8.00 yards per return (Last week: No. 44, 8.00 yards per return)
  • Tied for No. 63 in made extra point attempts with 14, 14/15 on the year (Last week: Tied for No. 46 with 14, 14/15 on the year)

The Negatives (Special Teams)

The list of negatives for special teams remains quite short, with both downfalls coming on return defense.

  • No. 81 in punt return defense at 8.60 yards per return (Last week: Tied for No. 64, 8.60 yards per return)
  • No. 112 in kickoff return defense, allowing 26.29 yards per return (Last week: No. 91 in the nation, allowing 26.29 yards per return)

Good news: Kentucky boasts one of the top defenses in all of college football.

Bad news: They also boast one of the worst offenses in the nation.

Will the Wildcats be able to turn things around offensively against the Vanderbilt Commodores this weekend?

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR